Dead Heart

Being pleased with an evil is a sin in itself. Every Muslim must realize that evils are displeasing to Allah. Out of his love for Allah, a Muslim must hate everything that is displeasing to his Lord. If he does not have this feeling, it is a clear sign that there is a shortcoming in his faith. In addition, he will be held accountable for his liking a sin even if he does not witness or perform that deed. Abu Dawud recorded the following hadith,

"If a sin is committed on the earth, the one who witnessed it and hated it is like one who was not present. And the one who was not present at the sin but is pleased with it is like one who was present [and did not repel it]." [Abu Dawud]

Drill and Upbringing

The most striking and wonderful things that old books can offer us are the stories about conversion and moral revival. The worst sinners and tyrants turned overnight into humble martyrs and defenders of justice. It is always a spontaneous event; there is no process of reforming or influencing. The question is one of a move in the depths of the soul, of an experience existing together with an energy of a completely inward nature which by its own force completely changes a man. This transformation belongs to man and that is why there is no process, casualty, conditionality, causes, and consequences, or even a rational explanation. The essence of this drama is freedom and creativity.

Dominance vs. Prestige

In our species, the attainment of social status, and the mating benefits that come along with it, can be accomplished through compassion and cooperation just as much (if not more so) as through aggression and intimidation. Scholars across ethnography, ethology, sociology, and sociolinguistics believe that at least two routes to social status — dominance and prestige — arose in evolutionary history at different times and for different purposes.

The dominance route is paved with intimidation, threats, and coercion, and is fueled by hubristic pride. Hubristic pride is associated with arrogance, conceit, anti-social behaviours, unstable relationships, low levels of conscientiousness and high levels of disagreeableness, neuroticism, narcissism, and poor mental health outcomes. Hubristic pride, along with its associated feelings of superiority and arrogance, facilitates dominance by motivating behaviours such as aggression, hostility, and manipulation.

Continuous Remembrance

Continuous remembrance can replace supererogatory deeds, whether they be physical, monetary or both such as a supererogatory pilgrimage. This is clear from a hadith which Abu Hurayra transmitted. The poorest of the Emigrants [to Medina] came to the Messenger of God (peace be upon him) and said, 'O Messenger of God, the wealthy have taken the highest degrees and eternal happiness. They pray as we do and fast as we do, but they also have the advantage of wealth, which they use to go on the greater and the lesser pilgrimages and to combat.' The Messenger said, 'Shall I teach you something by which you can catch up with those who have surpassed you and surpass those who are behind you, something in which no one can better you, unless he does as you do?'

Conscious Awareness

It is related that the Prophet, on him be peace, once omitted a verse from the part of the Quran he recited in the course of a ritual Prayer. As he was turning to leave, he said: 'What did I recite?' Nobody spoke, so he repeated the question to Ubayy ibn Kab, may God be pleased with him, who said: 'You recited such-and-such a Sura, omitting a particular verse. We are wondering whether it has been abrogated or taken out.' The Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'Good for you, Ubayy!' Then he turned to the others and said: 'What are we to make of people who come for their Prayers, line up in their rows behind their Prophet, but do not know what he is reciting to them from the Book of their Lord? That is just how the Children of Israel behaved, so God, Great and Glorious is He, spoke to their Prophet through inspiration, saying: "Tell your people: 'You present your bodies before Me and you offer Me your tongues, but you keep your hearts from Me. What you are doing is futile.'"' [Nas-Sahih]